This film will soon be celebrating its 20th anniversary this September. 20 Years! Where did the time go? I had never heard of the book until the film came out and then probably did not read it until another 10 years had passed. I recently watched the film again and reread the book.
The Movie: I saw the movie first. It has everything a 19 year old girl could want in a movie: action, romance, adventure, and comedy too. Robin Wright made her big screen debut as Buttercup the peasant girl who loses faith in her peasant prince (Cary Elwes) when he is lost at sea. She agrees to marry a nasty prince who looks at her as an object to be used to farther his political aspirations. But wait, who is that man in black who is determined to rescue her from three misguided bandits?
If you haven't seen this movie after 20 years, see it now. It is one of my favorites. The subplot (or the main plot, depending how you look at it) is about a child stuck home sick with his grandfather. The grandfather spins this fantastic fairytale to impart some wisdom onto his young grandson. In my opinion, this movie is a classic.
The Book: The full title is The Princess Bride: S. Morgenstern's Classic Tale of True Love and High Adventure . If you read on it will tell you it is "The 'Good Parts' version abridged by William Goldman. Ok, funny story before I go any further. I had a boy who came into the library because he wanted to read the original Princess Bride by S. Morgenstern. We searched and hunted and looked and interneted and came to the conclusion: there is no S. Morgenstern! It is a ploy. Mr. Goldman wrote the book as an adaptation of a book that doesn't exist! This was way before the Coen brothers released Fargo which stated it was "Based on a True Story" (it wasn't btw).
The book is rich with details and innuendos that escape the movie. This is no light read, but still enjoyable to emerge ones self into for a week or so. And just like the movie it flip-flops between the two plot lines.
The Winner: Ugh! Both have its advantages: additional details and scenes in the book and great characterizations in the movie. I would say the movie wins, but if you are a reader, read the book after the movie. That way you can really hear as you read one of my favorite quotes from this movie:
"My name is Inigo Montoya; you killed my father; prepare to die"